Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing at Montana Tech Forms Partnership with Space Propulsion Group


The Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) at Montana Tech has partnered with Space Propulsion Group (SPG), formerly of Sunnyvale, CA. SPG is a world leader in the formulation, casting, and processing of high regression rate hybrid rocket fuels. Their fuels technology allows the design of formulations for specific attributes such as regression rate, structural strength, glass transition temperature and toughness among others. In addition, their base fuel matrix is highly hydrophobic which enables formulations using high-energy additives such as aluminum, lithium hydride, magnesium or boron.

Along with the business partnership, SPG and CAMP now share equipment essential to the fabrication of rocket test motors. A 3-axis, 30-foot long filament winding machine is now housed at the Montana Tech Research Center. This winder will be used to not only fabricate the rocket motor casings up to 5 feet in diameter for testing but for production of rocket casings for various programs for NASA and the US Air Force.  CAMP personnel will oversee the daily operation of the winding facility and will also provide academic guidance for undergraduate and graduate work for composite materials fabrication projects. 

The addition of a filament winder has been a goal of CAMP Materials Scientist Ronda Coguill.  “Having the capability to do advanced fabrication of composite materials is essential to the Materials Science program at Montana Tech,” noted Coguill. “With this state-of-the-art machine, we can now provide realistic training for our students who are interested in working with advanced materials such as fiberglass and carbon composites. Working with SPG will be a perfect fit for CAMP, which specializes in the characterization and analysis of materials from basic mineralogy to structural performance.”

For more information, please contact Ronda Coguill at 406-496-4808.